It is with the utmost delight that I announce the appointment of Professor Ingrid Woolard as the new Dean of the Faculty of Commerce. She will assume her new role with effect from 1 March 2016.
Professor Woolard currently teaches in the School of Economics and is a Research Associate of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) and a Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labour in Bonn. She is highly acclaimed in her areas of research interest, which include labour markets, social protection, tax policy and the measurement of poverty and inequality.
Professor Woolard earned her BSc (Mathematical Statistics and Economics) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 1992 and then went on to complete her BA (Hons) (Economics) at the University of South Africa in 1995. She earned her PhD (Economics) from the University of Cape Town in 2002.
She holds a C1 rating from the National Research Foundation and has published one book, 20 journal articles and nine book chapters since 1998. Her influential work has been cited more than 2900 times. An abridged CV indicating her wealth of experience in teaching, research and administration is available here.
She joined UCT in April 2005 as a Chief Research Officer in SALDRU, a role she held with distinction until June 2008. In July 2008, she became an Associate Professor in the School of Economics and served in this post for just over five years before becoming Professor in January 2014.
Professor Woolard is an active contributor to the Poverty & Inequality Initiative (PII) Planning Group, UCT’s institution-wide project addressing challenges posed by poverty and inequality. She has been one of the Principal Investigators for the first four waves of South Africa’s national socio-economic panel survey, the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS), which SALDRU conducts on behalf of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Her sterling reputation in economics and labour has seen her serving on countless government advisory committees including the Department of Finance’s Davis Tax Committee since July 2013 and advising the Department of Public Works’ in the design of Phase III of the Expanded Public Works Programme in 2013. Between 2008 and 2014, Professor Woolard served on the Employment Conditions Commission, which advises the Minister of Labour on making sectoral determinations with regards to working conditions and minimum wages in sectors where collective bargain is weak.
Professor Woolard has served in a number of committees at UCT, including the Student Disciplinary Tribunal, the Academic Union Executive Committee and the Senate. At the Faculty of Commerce level, she has been an integral member of the Doctoral Committee of Assessors, the Academic Policy and Practice Committee and the Higher Degrees Committee.
Prior to joining UCT, Professor Woolard held several key positions, including serving as Senior Research Fellow in the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of Development Studies (2004-2005), Senior Research Specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council (2002-2004) and part-time Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (2002-2004).
Further testament to Professor Woolard’s international stature can be seen through other positions she has held, which include:
Member of the Luxembourg Income Study board (2011 – to date)
Member of the Executive Committee of the Academic Board of the African Economic Research Consortium (2013-2014)
Co-Chairperson of the Scientific Committee of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (2010)
Member of the Editorial Board of the South African Journal of Economics (2005-2009)
Presentation of keynote conference papers in Geneva (on institutional wage-setting in the context of high inequality and unemployment); Delhi (on youth unemployment); and Stockholm (on the impact of unconditional cash transfers).
I warmly welcome Professor Woolard to the deanship and to the Senior Leadership Group.
Professor Michael Wormald has been serving as the Acting Dean of Commerce since April 2015, when Professor Don Ross resigned to move to the University of Waikato in New Zealand. I would like to convey my gratitude to Professor Wormald for so willingly and ably holding the fort and for his wise, measured and diligent management of the faculty during the transition phase.